Giovanni Falcone (Italian: [dʒoˈvanni falˈkoːne]; 18 May 1939 – 23 May 1992) was an Italian judge and prosecuting magistrate. From his office in the Palace of Justice in Palermo, Sicily, he spent most of his professional life trying to overthrow the power of the Sicilian Mafia. After a long and distinguished career, culminating in the Maxi Trial in 1986–1987, on 23 May 1992, Falcone was assassinated by the Corleonesi Mafia in the Capaci bombing, on the A29 motorway near the town of Capaci. His life parallels that of his close friend Paolo Borsellino. They both spent their early years in the same neighbourhood in Palermo. Though many of their childhood friends grew up in the Mafia background, both men fought on the other side of the war as prosecuting magistrates. They were both killed in 1992, a few months apart. In recognition of their tireless effort and sacrifice during the anti-mafia trials, they were both awarded the Gold Medal for Civil Valor and were acknowledged as martyrs of the Catholic Church. They were also named as heroes of the last 60 years in the 13 November 2006 issue of Time.
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